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Plummeting to the second page of Google results brings to mind the epic ad campaign for Avis a few years ago. The tagline, “When you’re only number 2, you try harder,” evolved into “We try harder.” Either way, being on page 2 of Google makes you want to crawl up the ranks of the search engine results page as quickly as possible.

Consider the first page of Google captures more than 70 percent of search traffic clicks. This number can be as high as 92 percent based on the type of search. Further, only 6 percent of search traffic clicks come from results on page 2 of Google. Being on page 2 and landing on page 1 of Google are vastly different when it comes to traffic and conversion rates.

If your business is like Avis, the time to try harder is here. Learn how to move your lagging URLs from page 2 of Google to page 1 to give them the exposure they deserve.

How Many Results Are There in the First Page of Google?

Let’s start by considering the odds, a smart first step in any speculative venture. Typically, there are ten results on a Google page. Plus, there are paid ads, featured snippets, and a link to questions people also ask about the topic.

Then think about all the other companies in the world that are in the same industry. Trying to rank against the competition is a sizeable endeavor. How can your site become one of the top ten to get all the attention on Google?

Quality SEO content, intelligent use of keywords, superior branding, and an authoritative tone all play a role in search engine rankings. Choosing the right words is crucial to slide into one of these highly coveted ten slots.

How Do I Appear on Google Search?

It makes sense to ensure a website will appear on Google search before tracking its ranking. Use Google Search Console to submit a sitemap of your site to Google structured data. A sitemap shows every page on your website, so each one is indexed correctly.

Next, label the structured content to help users find content relevant to what they want to see on Google. Using tags and labels helps categorize your pages based on topic and relevancy. Keep in mind, Google continually changes its algorithms to improve the user experience.

Creating and submitting a sitemap as well as labeling the pages helps your site move up the ranks. Plus, it can appear in Google’s Discover stream, a list of topics shown on Android mobile devices, which can help increase targeted traffic.

Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?

Most sites are mobile-friendly, but older sites might still appear wonky on these search results. Do you know how your site looks on mobile devices? Start plugging your URL into a mobile-friendly checking tool to find out if it’s ready for this growing audience. As more people search on tablets and smartphones, sites need to be fully functional on these smaller screens.

If the site is not mobile-friendly, people may not be able to view your content on a smartphone. To see the page requires users to zoom in to read it. Sites should instantly be readable and accessible to capture a visitor’s attention. Otherwise, visitors might abandon your site for one they can use right away.

Think about the potential of having a mobile-friendly site. In the United States, 94 percent of consumers with smartphones look for local info on their mobile devices. Imagine harnessing a portion of this large target audience. All it takes is attractive, mobile-friendly website design with well-written, optimized content.

How Long Does It Take for Google to Rank a Page?

Now you know the odds, submitted a sitemap and verified your site is mobile-friendly. Now it’s time to brush up on SEO strategies to climb up to the first page of Google. Will you be able to land on page 1 in just a few days? It’s extremely unlikely.

Get your SEO chops now, because it takes about three to six months to rank on Google. Based on the popularity of your keywords and the saturation rate in your industry, it can be up to 180 days until you see a jump in rank. The SEO seeds you sow today will take time to bear fruit and yield the results you crave.

Plus, about 95 percent of newly published pages don’t make the top ten within one year. And, the 5.7 percent of fortunate pages that reach the top ten within a year often mix low-volume keywords with high-volume keywords. While it can take two to six months to rank for low-volume keywords, you’ll wait a year or longer to see upward movement for high-volume keywords.

Is My Website Destined to Be Second?

With new competition on the scene every day and a waiting period to rank on Google, is your site doomed to be second? Not necessarily. After all, we already recognize about 75 percent of searchers never go page the first page of Google results. So, that’s an inspiration to try harder, just like Avis.

The good news is there are more than 1 trillion searches performed each month. While the competition seems impossible, there are also many opportunities to attract your target audience. But can you rank for the highly-trafficked and competitive keywords? It’s unlikely unless your site has a strong domain authority with long-term standing and plenty of healthy backlinks.

Industry leaders often monopolize the most popular keywords because they’ve been doing it for a long time. While a new site can rank for these words over time, they won’t give you the quick win you need to climb to page 1. So, how can a new kid on the SEO block get their share of the marketplace?

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

When people want something, they type a few words into the search engine box to find it. In seconds, they get a list of answers in response to the search query. Determining the words they use is the first step to moving up toward page 1 of Google. Use Google AdWords to find long-tail keywords with little or no competition.

Avoid saturated keywords until your site starts to climb up the ranks for a few long-tail keywords. Infuse long-tail keywords naturally into your title tags, metadata, and content. While long-tails attract less traffic, using a few of them can add up to a significant increase in organic traffic. And, as your site exposure increases, so do your authority and rank.

The majority of searches use long-tail keywords, and they are easier to rank for. It takes less time and money to rank well for long-tail keywords and see measurable results. Are you still speculating if this will work? Amazon makes more than 50 percent of its sales using long-tail keywords, proving this is a viable strategy. Use a tiered approach, adding more trafficked keywords to the mix as your site ranking improves.

Write for a Human Audience

Once you perform keyword research, it’s time to craft meaningful content people want to read. Online content should be optimized, informative, and engaging. People want immediate answers in the basic language they understand. It’s easy to get caught up in the keywords and forget you’re writing for a human audience.

Google can drive traffic to your site, but it’s your job to keep people there. Develop a unique voice people instantly recognize. Offer updated information in a user-friendly format. Remember to include professional photos, video, infographics, and charts. Then make the content interesting and eye-catching.

Remember to keep the backend in mind while you craft the content. Develop catchy title tags and metadata that make searchers want to click on your result. Add alt tags to your images to ensure Google indexes them, too. The more often your content appears on the search engine results, the more organic traffic your site will get.

Refresh Existing Content

Many online merchants forget the value of their current content. Consider how much time and money is invested in creating web content. Over time, this content may start to slide down on Google search results. Discover the power of refreshing your existing content to maximize this investment and reach page 1 of Google.

Check out Google Analytics to find content that attracts traffic but still lands on page 2 of Google. Determine the keywords used to search for the content and look for long-tail keywords that help drive traffic to the site. Infuse these keywords into your content, title tags, and metadata. And, make sure your content is entirely original and different from what everyone else offers.

Read the content with “fresh eyes” to ensure it meets current best practices. If it reads unnaturally or presents dated ideas, edit the content to improve its presentation. Perform research to add more recent statistics and external research links. Then share the republished content on social media to start driving more traffic to your older articles. In combination with creating new content, this strategy can drive outdated URLs up to the first page of Google.

Pay to Rank

While this might sound like gaming the system, it’s not. Some companies decide to pay to rank on the first page of Google. Purchasing top keywords in Google Ads is another way to climb up the ranks and pass by the competition.

The downsides are the cost and the fact the link is an ad, rather than original content attracting organic traffic to your site. However, a well-placed ad can drive plenty of targeted traffic to your site and help improve conversion rates. The goal is to stand out from the other ads.

Once again, it’s important to do something different from your competitors. Rather than using similar wording that appears in related Google Ads, try to mix it up and offer something readers want to click on and read more. Creativity and uniqueness are always cornerstones when it comes to moving up to page 1 of Google.

Flood the Internet With Quality Content

There’s no getting around the fact that quality content is crucial to crawling up the ranks. The top websites offer a myriad of content, organized by labels and categories. Often the site has a search bar to help users find what they want. And, these sites can gauge these searches to refine their keyword use and SEO efforts to resonate with the current target audience.

If you currently write one blog post a week, double it and watch your rank improve. Are your current articles about 500 words each? Double that, too, to 1,000 words apiece to see measurable improvements. Add relevant external and internal links to your content. Remember to include images and charts that help the reader gather pertinent information.

And, quality content includes leveraging the power of your existing articles by refreshing them. Try refreshing as many articles as you write per month. If you publish eight new articles, republish eight refreshed ones. Adding 16 pieces of new content to your site monthly can yield impressive results. Plus, producing this much content puts you in the same league as the big players!

Just Get It Done

Every day your site lingers on page 2 of Google, you’re losing business to the competition. With a little extra effort and time, your pages can move up to the first page of Google. If you want to be on this envied search engine results page, it’s time to just get it done.

Often companies put off until tomorrow what should be done today because of a lack of internal resources. Outsourcing some or all of your SEO and content production work is a way to remain progressive without hiring new staff.

There’s no need to retrain your existing staff or spend hours trying to hire experts. The professionals at Galileo Tech Media can become strategic partners with your company to find the best ways to expand your web presence and generate more leads.

How do you rank first on Google? It’s not a simple question, and there are no easy answers. Often the solution differs based on a wide variety of factors. It takes focus, experience, and dedication to go from page 2 of Google to page 1. Contact our team of experts to find out more!